Xbox Live's ex-sheriff returns as Gears of War's community manager

Stephen Toulouse, the former director of enforcement for Xbox Live — the person who wielded the banhammer, in other words — will return Microsoft as the director of community engagement with Gears of War. The news was announced on Major Nelson's most recent podcast.

Toulouse (pictured) left Microsoft in 2012. Since then, he has held positions with Gaems, a maker of portable gaming entertainment cases, and with HBO. He rejoins Microsoft six months after it purchased the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games.

As Microsoft's Xbox Live top cop, Toulouse was involved in many of the policies shaping the service today. His public stature made him the target of abuse, death threats and even "SWATting" by those sanctioned for their conduct.

Toulouse later said he left Microsoft because the company didn't know how to handle those kind of threats at a corporate level. Since Toulouse's departure from the enforcement division, no one has publicly assumed his former role.

Toulouse will join Vancouver, B.C.-based (and Microsoft-owned) Black Tusk, which is working on the next Gears of War game.

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